San Antonio Book Festival - Daniel Chacón
Courtesy of Daniel Chacón
Book Festival Author

Daniel Chacón

Daniel Chacón is the author of The Cholo Tree; Hotel Juárez: Stories, Rooms and Loops; Unending Rooms, winner of the Hudson Prize; and the shadows took him; and Chicano Chicanery. A professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, he is co-editor of The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: The Selected Works of José Antonio Burciaga. His latest book is The Last Philosopher in Texas: Fictions and Superstitions.

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Book by Daniel Chacón

  • The Last Philosopher in Texas: Fictions and Superstitions by Daniel Chacón

    The Last Philosopher in Texas: Fictions and Superstitions

    Illusion and the possibility of magic coexist with the pain and joy of daily life in these compelling pieces mostly set in the Texas-Mexico border region. In one, a girl desperately wants to know more about her mother, who died when she was four years old. Did she like being a mom? Would she have preferred partying with her friends? When her eccentric aunt says she can teach her how to travel back in time, the girl is skeptical. Is it really possible to visit the past and communicate with the dead?

    Each story is a celebration of the narrative’s power to transport, enlighten and connect the reader to the myriad facets of the human experience. In “Borges and the Chicanx,” a Chicano professor’s imposter syndrome worsens when he is asked to teach a course on a famed Latin American writer he has never read and whose work he doesn’t understand. And in “Sara’s Chest of Drawers,” a young man’s parents insist he go through his dead twin sister’s things even though he doesn’t think she would want him to—until she sends him a sign from the beyond.

    Dreams, memories, visions and superstitions permeate this collection of short fiction that blends the ordinary with the extraordinary, making the fantastical feel surprisingly tangible. Considering themes of outsider status and displacement, cultural representation and authenticity, identity and collective memory, award-winning author Daniel Chacón once again crafts troubled characters searching for salvation from sorrows they often cannot even articulate.

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